The Rich Man and Lazarus
19 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side.[a] The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’
In Luke 16, Jesus told a story about a rich man who lived for himself and ignored God. After death, he experienced the consequences of his choices–eternal separation from the Lord.
Jesus described him as one who lived in luxury every day (v. 19), providing for himself the best that money could buy but giving little to the poor at his gate. It is important to realize that this man wasn’t judged harshly by God because of his wealth. The heavenly Father is not opposed to our success. Nor was the man separated from the Lord because of his lack of charity toward others. He did not deliberately harm others but, rather, overlooked those in need and focused on himself.
The rich man’s mistake was that he prepared everything for the body but nothing for the soul. Our culture practices a similar style of living. Acquiring material riches and satisfying self is the primary pursuit of many in our world. Having what one wants seems to be the goal whether it’s a struggle to make ends meet or the bank account is overflowing.
Scripture says we were created to be in a relationship with the Father through faith in His Son. The rich man ignored God and paid the ultimate price. Our eternal destiny depends on our decision about Christ.
Despite what our culture thinks, life is not about us. It’s about having a relationship with the Lord. Whoever accepts Christ’s gift of salvation will live eternally with Him in heaven. Those who reject God will suffer. If you know any spiritually shortsighted people, pray that they will trust in Jesus.